Airtel’s latest salvo in the ongoing mobile data war has made rival Reliance Jio run for the extinguisher. It all started when Ookla, the global leader in broadband speed testing announced Bharti Airtel, the largest telecom operator in the country, as the fastest mobile network in India. Since it was Jio’s turn to return the fire, they challenged the claim stating that a dual SIM phone tags a Jio result as an Airtel result, and hence, the results are inaccurate. Confused? Allow us to simplify the situation.

Since the Airtel girl returned on televisions across the country to announce that Airtel has been verified to be the fastest mobile network in India, the social media has been abuzz with different stories. The solitary argument presented by Reliance Jio in this case is, in dual SIM phones – results of the speed test are attributed to the SIM Slot 1 even if the data SIM is in slot 2. As of right now, contesting that argument, Ookla has issued a statement saying:

In these situations, Ookla applies additional data sources and mechanisms during post processing to help determine the actual data carrier being tested. For example, Ookla matches the connection IP address recorded during the test to known carrier IP blocks. This enables Ookla to determine the actual data carrier with a high degree of confidence. Airtel’s margin of victory increased when the complete analysis was performed.”

Even if we stay with Jio’s argument for a minute: The correct fact is that the result in the speed-test app is tagged on the basis of what is called as the “calling” SIM – the SIM which is used for voice calls and not data. So – If the SIM in slot 1 is a data SIM (JIO) while that in slot 2 is a voice SIM (Airtel), then the results are attributed to SIM 2 and not SIM 1 (As what Jio keeps saying)

Now, there can be only two scenarios involving a dual-SIM phone:

Voice SIM: Jio Data SIM: Jio
Data SIM: Airtel Voice SIM: Airtel
Jio doesn’t operate on 2G or 3G networks. So can never get registered as a Voice SIM. In this case, Airtel samples get attributed to Airtel. This part. This little part is where Jio believes that it’s results are getting tagged as Airtel.

Since Jio doesn’t get registered as a calling SIM at all, the corruption of samples can only happen from Jio to Airtel, and not the other way around. Now comes the catch: Ookla has given Airtel an Average of 8.76 and Jio an average of 7.47. If we were to remove the Jio results from the Airtel sample – the Airtel average only goes further high up!! In fact, if anything, Jio test results are actually pulling the Airtel cumulative down.

It’s basic maths really! First Ookla and now Jio – both have proven Airtel to be the fastest network. What is your take on this ongoing war between the two giants? Do share it with us in the comments section below.

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